Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Dell and Intel combine to create IoT bundles

Steve Rogerson
August 29, 2018

Announced at this week’s VMWorld in Las Vegas, Dell Technologies is combining tools from its portfolio with technology from Intel and partners to create bundles that simplify deployment of secure, scalable products for edge computing and IoT use cases.
These will drive workloads for computer vision enabled by imaging sensors and machine intelligence, characterised by structured telemetry from sensors and control systems. Dell collaborated with Intel, who helped advance these products with its computer vision and analytics technologies.
"Workloads and use cases for computer vision and machine intelligence require different combinations of tools, but the computing infrastructure elements are the same," said Joyce Mullen, president for channel, OEM and IoT at Dell Technologies. "Dell Technologies provides a scalable, secure, manageable and open infrastructure spanning edge to cloud, so customers and partners can realise value today and build a foundation to support these workloads and case studies in the future."
Cameras provide information about the physical world, but the deluge of video data creates too much data for humans to monitor for real-time decision making cost effectively. Applying analytics, such as artificial intelligence, to these data streams automates powerful, actionable insights. Events driven by computer vision and analysed together with telemetry from machines – including data that imaging sensors cannot provide, such as voltage, current and pressure – results in even more powerful insights.
"Imaging and video use cases create extraordinary amounts of data and need intelligent vision to rapidly analyse data near the edge, respond in near real time and move relevant insights to the cloud,” said Jonathan Ballon, vice president of Intel’s IoT group. “The new Dell Technologies IoT solution powered by Intel vision products including Intel Xeon scalable processors and the Open Vino toolkit, provides the performance, efficiency and open compute platform necessary to speed deployment of computer vision to transform vision data into valuable business insights from edge to cloud."
Because of rapid evolution in the IoT market and the pace of innovation required to stay competitive, many now require an IT grade infrastructure. This should include a security-first perspective to support scalability, data diversity and the increasingly complex needs of connected devices.
By enabling computer vision with Dell Technologies IoT products, users can more accurately, efficiently and effectively see relevant information pertaining to areas such as public safety, customer experience, and product inventory and quality. Surveillance is the first use case to which Dell has applied computer vision, so its customers can more cost-effectively monitor events in the physical world and automate decision-making.
The IoT surveillance offering was built to transform and simplify how surveillance technology is delivered with easy to deploy and manage hyper-converged software. Available later this year to purchase as a package, the engineered, pre-integrated product will provide a consistent foundation from edge to distributed core to cloud. It will also be ready to run on day one with user data to speed the return on investment. It is currently available as a reference architecture to align systems and build a framework for computer vision learning and adoption for other use cases.
Built on a cloud infrastructure, the Dell IoT surveillance offering provides:

  • Rapid return on investment – The open architecture allows for customisation with choice of technology, purchasing and configuration. Additionally, it is flexible to adapt to changing technologies or industry regulations to meet data needs today and in the future.
  • Reduced risk – Dell’s EMC surveillance validation lab tests hardware and ISV software together in extreme simulations to ensure it will stand up in the real world.
  • Integrated security – The built-in security measures include micro-segmentation and the ability to push over-the-air updates and security patches in real time to all surveillance devices from camera to cloud. It also will include holistic management capabilities across IT and operational technology concerns through a combination of VMware’s Pulse IoT centre and software defined data centre.
  • Greater reliability with scalability from hundreds to thousands of cameras and sensors – It offers an automated, fault-tolerant approach to scaling from 300Tbyte to more than 50Pbyte on Dell’s EMC elastic cloud storage for private, on-premise, off-premise or hybrid needs. High availability and zero data loss will be guaranteed with vSAN Raid 5/6 across flash and disc. Additionally, ESXi Enterprise Plus enables high availability and disaster recovery services.
The Dell Technologies IoT partner programme is a multi-tiered programme supporting technology and services partners from the edge through the full Dell stack. Through this programme, Dell has identified several partners demonstrating strong use case focus and clear return on investment to create the Dell IoT connected bundle.
The bundles include sensors and licensed software from partners tailored for specific use cases, together with various combinations of Dell infrastructure spanning edge gateway, embedded PC and server hardware. This is in addition to complimentary software such as VMware’s Pulse IoT centre for securing, managing and monitoring at scale.
Sold through the channel, IoT connected bundles are validated and market proven. Channel partners can deliver these to their customers as turnkey offerings. With these bundles, channel partners have a value proposition to offer their customers, as well as a new potential revenue stream. With a clear, repeatable and accelerated path to return on investment, channel partners can enter the IoT market knowing it will work and deliver predictable results fast.
The IoT connected bundles include:
  • ELM: compliance-as-a-service for HVAC, refrigeration and power systems;
  • V5 Systems: self-contained and powered surveillance for safety and security in outdoor spaces;
  • IMS Evolve: energy savings for grocery retailers while improving food quality and safety;
  • Modius: data centre infrastructure management;
  • Pelco: video surveillance tailored for the requirements of K-12 education;
  • Pixel Velocity: efficient remote monitoring of field assets in oil and gas operations;
  • ActionPoint: predictive maintenance in midmarket manufacturing; and
  • Software AG: digital manufacturing intelligence suite for larger-scale operations.
Dell actively participates in Edge X Foundry, a vendor-neutral open source project focusing on building a common interoperability framework to facilitate an ecosystem for edge computing. The project, which has grown to more than 60 member organisations, recently announced the California code release, a major step in evolving the Edge X framework to support developer requirements for deployment in business-critical IoT applications.
Dell Technologies Capital recently invested in IoTech Systems, a start-up offering a commercially packaged version of this framework that enables users to focus on their preferred value-add instead of supporting the open source code.
Dell also participates in the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), the OpenFog Consortium and the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium (AECC).
The reference architecture for the IoT surveillance offering is available today, and the engineered version will be available in October 2018. IoT connected bundles for channel partners will be available in September 2018.
"Organisations are looking to integrated IoT that bring together the storage, security, network and management and orchestration,” said Carrie MacGillivray, group vice president at analyst IDC. “Companies need to find a partner that understands these requirements and can help provide the piece parts to build out a holistic solution. Dell Technologies' holistic portfolio of key IoT and go-to-market options make them a solid partner for your IoT journey."